Kleiner Perkins-backed comparison shopping platform FindTheBest has been focused on solving a specific problem for the past year: how to help people compare different products and services so that they can quickly figure out which is the best one. And today, the platform is adding data-driven personalization as part of the solution with the launch of a new data-driven feature called AssistMe.
Co-founded by DoubleClick founder and former CEO Kevin O’Connor, FindTheBest performs in-depth comparison searches that crawl large amounts of data. For example, the engine can compare colleges and break down comparisons by acceptance rates, SAT scores, tuition, and more. As we’ve written in the past, the quality of the data they’ve gathered from government and other trusted sources, the transparency into how the data is sourced, and the tools available to slice, dice and manipulate it make FindTheBest a compelling destination.
Until now, FindTheBest has been drawing data from other services and sources to best serve its customers. AssistMe aims to draw data from the user, attempting to personalize the shopping experience. The tool focuses on capturing explicit data by asking the user which aspects of a product are most important. The user gets to weigh approximately five aspects of the product or service—from unimportant to very important. FindTheBest’s AssistMe algorithm then calculates the options and then returns a set of personalized results. Basically the feature attempts to create more of a dialogue between the consumer and the site.
For example, when comparing dog breeds, AssistMe will ask questions such as “How important is the temperament of the dog?” or “Is the Size of the dog an important factor?” or “Is minimal shedding or grooming important to you?”. The questions are fairly simple and users can answer in a range of five choices from ‘unimportant’ to ‘very important.’
In the user’s search results, FindTheBest will suggest which options are best suited based on the AssistMe data. Today, AssistMe is rolling out for 20 comparisons, but will eventually be extended to all the comparison subjects FindTheBest offers.
FindTheBest now has 6 million unique visitors per month, says O’Connor, which is up from 4 million unique visitors per month in December. The company has also raised $6 million from Kleiner Perkins, and will be looking to raise another round later this year.